Thursday, March 29, 2012

British Orienteering Championships

Last weekend brought the British Orienteering Champs to York. These races acted for the Irish as the first of the World Championship Qualifying races. Three CNOC runners headed east to race against the best in GB and see where they stood after a hard winters training.

Saturday was the British Sprint Championships. The heats were in the morning with the finals in the evening.
Each heat had 40 on the start list with only the top 6 qualifying for the A final.

All of the Irish M21 runners were in the one heat, Heat B, Ruairi Short, Gerard Butler, Shane Lynch and Colm Hill. A coincidence?
Only Shane Lynch (CorkO) could qualify for the A final finishing in 6th place.
Both Ruairi (20th @ +1:20) and Colm (10th @ +14sec) weren't quiet up to pace and missed qualification to the A final.
Regina Kelly was CNOC's only female runner and ran in heat C. Sadly, there were some other extremely talented runners such as World Champion Linnea Gustafsson. Heat Results: M21-B, W21-C.

Colm on the run in of the Heats

In the afternoon, were the Finals. These races were World Ranking Events.
Ruairi (21st) and Regina (50th) came away with new WRE Score PB's. Colm came away bitter (whats new) with a 4th place finish and a race that could have being after a blistering second half to the course.

With day one done and dusted, it was wrapped up in a small Italian restaurant inside the medieval walls of York.

Results from the final. Heat maps (Ruairi, Colm) and Final maps (Ruairi, Colm)

Sunday morning dawned foggy - a common theme of York apparently.

Rocking up to the event, it had the feel of a small JK. The warm up map was essential to try get into the veg changes and all the tiny pits. The courses had 0 (zero!) climb on the control descriptions!
Flat terrain, rough ground, fast going in places and furious map reading at speed where tiny mistakes were severely punished. Think - a long sprint.

Colm and Ruairi both entered the race confident, one being properly orienteering fit for the first time and one with his head in the right space for the first time - there was a calm excitement lingering.

After the race, Ruairi was happy with his run

"This was fast and very very flat. Overall I'm quite happy with this. I think that running wise I'm closer than I have been and I was the least nervous about any big race than ever before. Had misses on 3,5 and 6 and bad direction on 13.
Apart from this orienteering was good and I kept pushing for most of the way, except I died a little at the end."

Ruairi finished 35th in 38:04. Map.

Ruairi leaving the final control

After the race, Colm just lay on the ground, panting for breath and every now and then, a curse follow by number 20 would escape.

"Heading to 20, I miss read the map, saw my control, said thats not mine and continued on... then I realised it actually was. I had to hammer the rest of the course. Its great to be running in such a strong field where every tiny mistake is punished. Really makes one focus on the little things."

Colm finished 27th in 36:38. Map.

Some success, some failings. Bring on the JK and Round 2 of WOC Qualification.

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